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Bertolt Brecht Poems

A collection of select Bertolt Brecht famous poems that were written by Bertolt Brecht or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

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by Brecht, Bertolt
 Show me the way to the next whisky bar
Oh, don't ask why, oh, don't ask why
Show me the way to the next whisky bar
Oh, don't ask why, oh, don't ask why
For if we don't find the next whisky bar
I tell you we must die
I tell you we must die
I tell you
I tell you
I tell you we must die

Oh, moon...Read More



by Brecht, Bertolt
 Contemplating Hell, as I once heard it,
My brother Shelley found it to be a place
Much like the city of London. I,
Who do not live in London, but in Los Angeles,
Find, contemplating Hell, that is
Must be even more like Los Angeles.

Also in Hell,
I do not doubt it, there exist these opulent gardens
With flowers as large as trees, wilting, of course,
Very...Read More

by Brecht, Bertolt
¡Aprende las cosas elementarias!
¡Para aquellos a quienes les ha llegado la hora nunca es demasadio tarde!
Aprende el abecedario. No bastará,
¡pero apréndolo! ¡No dejes que te desanimen!
¡Comienza! Debes saber todo.
Tienes que ser dirigente.

¡Aprende, hombre en el asilo!
¡Aprende, hombre en la prisión!
¡Aprende, mujer en la cocina!
¡Aprende, tú que tienes 60 años!
Tienes que ser dirigente.
¡Busca la esquela, tú que no tienes casa!

¡No tengas...Read More

by Brecht, Bertolt
 AMONGST THE HIGHLY PLACED
It is considered low to talk about food.
The fact is: they have
Already eaten.

The lowly must leave this earth
Without having tasted
Any good meat.

For wondering where they come from and
Where they are going
The fine evenings find them
Too exhausted.

They have not yet seen
The mountains and the great sea
When their time is already up.

If the lowly do not
Think about what's...Read More

by Brecht, Bertolt
 You saw sagacious Solomon
You know what came of him,
To him complexities seemed plain.
He cursed the hour that gave birth to him
And saw that everything was vain.
How great and wise was Solomon.
The world however did not wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It's wisdom that had brought him to this state.
How fortunate the man with none.

You saw courageous Caesar next
You know...Read More



by Brecht, Bertolt
 I never loved you more, ma soeur
Than as I walked away from you that evening.
The forest swallowed me, the blue forest, ma soeur
The blue forest and above it pale stars in the west.

I did not laugh, not one little bit, ma soeur
As I playfully walked towards a dark fate--
While the faces behind me
Slowly paled in the evening of the...Read More

by Brecht, Bertolt
 [original]

Anmut sparet nicht noch M?he
Leidenschaft nicht noch Verstand
Da? ein gutes Deutschland bl?he
Wie ein andres gutes Land 

Da? die V?lker nicht erbleichen
Wie vor einer R?uberin
Sondern ihre H?nde reichen
Uns wie andern V?lkern hin.

Und nicht ?ber und nicht unter
Andern V?lkern wolln wir sein
Von der See bis zu den Alpen
Von der Oder bis zum Rhein.

Und weil wir dies Land verbessern
Lieben und beschirmen wir's
Und...Read More

by Brecht, Bertolt
 My young son asks me: Must I learn mathematics?
What is the use, I feel like saying. That two pieces
Of bread are more than one's about all you'll end up with.
My young son asks me: Must I learn French?
What is the use, I feel like saying. This State's collapsing.
And if you just rub your belly with your hand and
Groan, you'll...Read More

by Brecht, Bertolt
 AS from our dream we died away
Far off I felt the outer things;
Your wind-blown tresses round me play,
Your bosom’s gentle murmurings.


And far away our faces met
As on the verge of the vast spheres;
And in the night our cheeks were wet,
I could not say with dew or tears.


As one within the Mother’s heart
In that hushed dream upon the height
We lived,...Read More

by Brecht, Bertolt
 How I have felt that thing that's called 'to part',
and feel it still: a dark, invincible,
cruel something by which what was joined so well
is once more shown, held out, and torn apart.

In what defenceless gaze at that I've stood,
which, as it, calling to me, let me go,
stayed there, as though it were all womanhood,
yet small and white and nothing...Read More

by Brecht, Bertolt
 Who built Thebes of the seven gates?
In the books you will find the names of kings.
Did the kings haul up the lumps of rock?
And Babylon, many times demolished
Who raised it up so many times? In what houses
of gold-glittering Lima did the builders live?
Where, the evening that the Wall of China was finnished
Did the masons go? Great Rome
Is full of...Read More

by Brecht, Bertolt
 Send me a leaf, but from a bush
That grows at least one half hour
Away from your house, then
You must go and will be strong, and I
Thank you for the pretty leaf....Read More

by Brecht, Bertolt
 Peoples of the world, together
Join to serve the common cause!
So it feeds us all for ever
See to it that it's now yours.

Forward, without forgetting
Where our strength can be seen now to be!
When starving or when eating
Forward, not forgetting
Our solidarity!

Black or white or brown or yellow
Leave your old disputes behind.
Once start talking with your fellow
Men, you'll soon be of one...Read More

by Brecht, Bertolt
 On my wall hangs a Japanese carving,
The mask of an evil demon, decorated with gold lacquer.
Sympathetically I observe
The swollen veins of the forehead, indicating
What a strain it is to be evil....Read More

by Brecht, Bertolt
 After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?...Read More

by Brecht, Bertolt
 My love
Has told me
That he needs me.

That's why
I take good care of myself
Watch out where I'm going and
Fear that any drop of rain
Might kill me....Read More

by Brecht, Bertolt
 Indeed I live in the dark ages!
A guileless word is an absurdity. A smooth forehead betokens
A hard heart. He who laughs
Has not yet heard
The terrible tidings.

Ah, what an age it is
When to speak of trees is almost a crime
For it is a kind of silence about injustice!
And he who walks calmly across the street,
Is he not out of reach...Read More

by Brecht, Bertolt
 To the cities I came in a time of disorder
That was ruled by hunger.
I sheltered with the people in a time of uproar
And then I joined in their rebellion.
That's how I passed my time that was given to me on this Earth.

I ate my dinners between the battles,
I lay down to sleep among the murderers,
I didn't care for much...Read More

by Brecht, Bertolt
 And because a man is human
He'll want to eat, and thanks a lot
But talk can't take the place of meat
or fill an empty pot.

So left, two, three!
So left, two, three!
Comrade, there's a place for you.
Take your stand in the workers united front
For you are a worker too.

And because a man is human
he won't care for a kick in the...Read More

by Brecht, Bertolt
 The industrialist is having his aeroplane serviced.
The priest is wondering what he said in his sermon eight weeks ago
about tithes.
The generals are putting on civvies and looking like bank clerks.
Public officials are getting friendly.
The policeman points out the way to the man in the cloth cap.
The landlord comes to see whether the water supply is working.
The journalists write the...Read More